With winter right around the corner, it is important that you take steps to ensure that your roof is ready to withstand heavy storms in the coming months. If you have an aging roof, this means hiring a roofer to inspect and either repair or replace your roof this fall. Taking the preventative measure to invest in your roof now can help to prevent potentially costly damage should your roof leak, or fail, during the first major storm this winter.
Yet, with so many roofing companies to choose from in the Canton area, how can you ensure that you are partnering with an experienced roofer who has the knowledge and skills to provide a quality roofing job? Unfortunately, many homeowners feel like they need to choose a roofer quickly without taking the proper precautions to help ensure they are picking the right company. The last thing that you want to do is choose an inexperienced roofing company in your rush to make a decision, as this could end up leaving you with more problems than you started with. To prevent such a disaster from occurring, here is a look at a few common mistakes that you should avoid making when choosing a roofing contractor.
Skipping The Research
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when choosing a roofing company is failing to do enough research. Do not simply choose the first roofing company that you find in your area on Google. You should take the time to thoroughly research multiple contractors to learn more about their history, experience, and most importantly, their reputation. Make sure to look at customer ratings and reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and The Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Reading contractor reviews can help you to steer clear of less-than-reputable roofers, however, you should also be on the lookout for roofers that do not have any reviews or an online presence. Reputation matters, and a skilled roofer should have a solid online reputation that demonstrates their history of providing excellent customer service and quality roof installation and repair. Research your options fully until you have a list of 3-4 roofers in your area that you would consider working with.
Not Taking The Time to Shop Around
After researching local roofing companies, you may find one that stands out that you think you want to work with; however, your research should not stop here. Even if you have an idea of who you want to go with, it is critical that you shop around to explore your options and learn more about the contractors on your short-list. Take the time to call 3-4 roofers for an estimate, and meet with them to go over your roofing options.
While you still may decide to go with the roofer you were originally leaning toward, getting multiple estimates is important in helping you to learn more about your options so that you can ensure you find the most experienced roofer. During your estimate, you will be able to get a feel for a roofer’s experience, their knowledge of the industry, and their customer service skills. After meeting with multiple roofers, you should have a better idea of who you would feel comfortable working with.
Not Getting Everything in Writing
Once you choose a roofer you want to work with, you will want to protect yourself by ensuring that you get everything in writing. Ideally, homeowners would be able to take a contractor at their word; however, the reality is that doing so could cause a lot of headaches later on. This is why it is critical that you get all bids, estimates, costs, warranties, and contracts in writing.
Having a signed contract that you can refer to will help to protect both you and your roofer by showing proof of your initial agreement should a dispute arise. A professional roofer will be more than willing to provide estimates, bids, and contracts in writing, and you should be wary of a contractor that won’t provide this service. They may try to lure you in with a low verbal estimate only to add on additional charges as the project continues.
Forgetting to Check for Licensing and Insurance
When vetting potential roofers, it is extremely important that you make sure that a roofer you are considering working with is licensed and insured. Having your roof repaired or replaced represents a major investment in your home, and you will want to protect that investment by ensuring that you partner with an experienced and qualified roofer. You do not want to hire an amateur who could end up causing additional damage to your home.
Working with a licensed roofing contractor ensures that you are partnering with someone who has the proper training and experience to work on your home and is in good standing with a local institution. It is also critical that a roofer is insured, as this will protect you in the event that an accident happens on the job. If a roofer is not insured, you may find yourself liable if they cause property damage, or are injured, on the job.
When interviewing potential roofers, don’t be afraid to ask for proof of licensing and insurance. This is something roofers are used to being asked, and a quality roofer will be more than willing to provide you with this information. If they seem hesitant to show you their license/insurance, this is a red flag that you will want to look elsewhere.
Going With The Cheapest Estimate
Once you have multiple estimates from local roofing companies and you are ready to make a decision, it is important that you avoid the most common mistake homeowners make: simply going with the cheapest estimate. You know the old saying “you get what you pay for”? This is particularly true when it comes to roofing.
While it is understandable that roofing is expensive and you may be trying to find the best deal, the cheapest estimate may not provide the highest quality of job. They will likely use cheaper materials and low-quality craftsmanship in order to cut corners and save money, allowing them to provide such cheap bids. However, this can be more costly in the long-run, as you may find yourself facing extensive repairs in the near future.
Thusly, when comparing roofing bids, it is important that you find out exactly what is included, what materials each contractor uses, and what methods they use. This can help you to get a better sense of what is actually included in each offer, helping you to choose the one that provides the best quality and value.
Neglecting to Speak to a Roofer’s References
When interviewing potential roofers, it is also important that you are not afraid to ask for references from recent customers. A contractor who is confident in their work will have contact information and addresses of people in your neighborhood whose roofs they have done recently. Contacting these references allows you to get a first-hand account from a former customer of what it was like to work with a roofing company, which can be invaluable in helping you to make a decision.
In talking to a roofer’s references, you can get a better sense of the quality of their work and their customer service skills, which can help you to determine whether they may be a good fit for you. If a roofer provides you with addresses of recent customers, it can be helpful to drive by these homes, as this will allow you to see the quality of their work up close. You should be wary of any roofer who does not have, or is unwilling to provide you with, references. This is a clear sign of a roofer who does not have a good rapport with past customers.
Signing The Contract Without Reviewing it Thoroughly
Once you have made your decision, it is critical that you do not simply sign the contract without reviewing it thoroughly first. In an age where we are constantly being presented with “terms and conditions” to agree to on our phone whenever we access a new website, it is easy to grow accustomed to signing things without reading through them first. However, it is important that you read your roofing contract thoroughly before you sign it, as this not only ensures that you know exactly what it is that you are agreeing to, but it also allows you to make sure that everything your roofer promised you is actually present in the contract. A reputable roofer will understand the importance of reading contracts thoroughly, and they will not rush you into signing anything or be annoyed if you take your time. They may even be willing to sit down with you and explain any technical language in the contract that you do not understand.
Investing in a new roof, or even roof repairs, represents a substantial investment in your home. This is why it is important that you take the time to thoroughly consider and research roofing contractors before you make a decision in order to ensure that you end up with the best results possible. Contact us to learn more about what you should look for when choosing a roofing contractor to work on your home.